Tortuga Brands

Dark Matter, Blue Beetle, Willem Barentsz and Raven Rare will be distributed by Tortuga Brands

Former Franklin & Sons and Berry Bros & Rudd executive Gary Hazell has branched out with the launch of a new upmarket spirits distribution company.

Established in collaboration with brand incubator Black Lab’s founding partner Peter Davie, who has become board director, Tortuga Brands is a sales, marketing and distribution agency representing “super premium” spirits brands in the on and off trade in the UK, as well as offering a wider global distributor network.

Launched officially this week, the agency has already secured exclusive distribution deals with brands including Willem Barentsz Gin, Raven Rare Blended Scotch Whisky, The Blue Beetle London Dry Gin, Xeco Sherry and Dark Matter rum.

It plans to further expand its “carefully selected portfolio” of brands across a range of spirits categories including malt whisky, cognac, tequila and vodka, as well as developing its ownstandalone brands in the future, confirmed Hazell.

“Our ethos is to nurture growing brands by getting them to market quickly and in the most appropriate way, whilst making the most of our excellent global contacts taking brands into international markets,” he added.

“We’re looking to expand our sales and marketing team in the UK and are actively recruiting recognised individuals in the industry to support our premium brand development.”

The company’s HQ is at The Vintry in Ilford, Essex, allowing the company to share some administrative resource with other drinks distributors including Mangrove.